Born in 1973 in Moscow.
1991 Graduated from Moscow Art College affiliated to the Surikov Institute. Since 1989 - Member of the Artist's Union of Russia. Participant of Moscow, All-Russia and International Exhibitions.
1999 Graduated from the Surikov Institute (Department of Painting) and became a member of the Moscwo Union of Artists.
2007 Awarded the "Service to Art" Gold Order.
2008 Corresponding member of the International Academy of Culture and Art.
Vera Korshunova's paintings are in corporate and private collections in Russia and abroad. A participant of many group exhibitions, Vera has had 11 solo-exhibitions.
1998 Solo-exhibition in SAP Company, Berlin, Germany.
2002 Solo-exhibition "Still-life in Pearl", House of Architect, Chelyabinsk
2005 Art-Manege, ASTI Gallery, Moscow
2005 Solo-exhibition "Feast of Colour", XII International Art Festival
"ART-NOVEMBER', ASTI Gallery, Moscow
2006 III All-Russian Competition for young figurative artists named after
Pavel Tretyakov, Moscow
2006 Art-Manege, ASTI Gallery, Moscow
2007 Moscow International Art-Salon "CHA-2007", Moscow
2007 Art&Deco, Novy Manezh, ASTI Gallery, Moscow
2007 Artesania, Novy Manezh, ASTI Gallery, Moscow
2007 Solo-exhibition "Evening in Pearl Colours", XIV International Art Festival
"ART-NOVEMBER", ASTI Gallery, St-Petersburg
2007 IV All-Russian Competition for young figurative artists named after
Pavel Tretyakov, Moscow
2007 Art-Manege, ASTI Gallery, Moscow
2008 Art&Deco, Novy Manezh, ASTI Gallery, Moscow
2008 Artesania, Novy Manezh, ASTI Gallery, Moscow
2008 Charity Exhibition "Family for every Child", XV International Art Festival
2008 Art-Manege, ASTI Gallery, Moscow
The young Moscow artist Vera Korshunova is a graduate of the famous Surikov Art Institute, a school often referred to as the “alma mater of the Russian artistic elite”. Since her graduation from the institute in 1999 where her tutors were the renowned Russian masters of easel painting Valentin Sidorov and Mikhail Abakumov, Korshunova started her exhibition marathon at home and abroad, having participated in a dozen or so group and solo shows. Young, talented, optimistic, skillful and vigorous she has managed to reach a high degree of self-expression in realistic painting.
Korshunova follows the recipe of Paul Valery who said: "The painter should not paint what he sees, but what will be seen." Will be seen by a viewer, one could add. She dares to make realistic art which proves to be inexhaustible, despite the achievements of the great masters of the Great Past.
The artist prefers to depict still-lifes and portray nature, although there is no special corner of the world which one would call “Korshunovian”. Instead when visiting any new place – as she does often – she absorbs its atmosphere (“genius loci”) and catches its emotional state (“spiritus loci”). And as a result she creates a piece of art adequate to the depicted landscape or cityscape in colour and manner.
Take, for example, such paintings as “At the Warm Sea” or “At Noon”: it is summer noon, the sea “is playing” with the beach. A group of red-roofed houses seems to run down the slope to the seashore, and the bright sun of the South generously presents its warmth to the earth. The brushstrokes – expressive and rhythmical – are made with sure hand. Something absolutely different opens from the bedroom window in the artist’s Moscow home, in her much-loved Prechistenka area: the city awakes from the spring night, and to express the tender soft colouring Korshunova puts almost transparent oils with very delicate brushwork on the canvas (“Spring in Prechistenka”). Another spring townscape proves the artist’s love for this season – nothing in itself surprising. As the great Russian poet Boris Pasternak put it, “A ray of the sun smiles to the earth”… Thus in her “Bright March” we see another depiction of the Spring in town, but in this case it is the red that catches the eye – that colour, so familiar to every Muscovite, of the red-brick old walls in the central part of Moscow called “Zamoskvorecheye” (“beyond the Moskva river”).
The cityscape is one of the favourite themes in Korshunova’s portfolio, though one would not say she portrays architecture as such; instead the artist gives many details and delicate hints to depict something very special and characteristic of the city or the town. The artist’s involvement in the everyday, her connection with day-to-day life – all this reveals itself in her townscapes. Under the impact of the “genius” and “spiritus loci” the artist gives vent to the soul-and-mind emotional state which is all in her paintings, in their colour scheme and rhythm of brushstrokes.
The views of Moscow – detailed and exact as they are – seem to be painted “alla primo” due to their fresh emotional impression, so that the painter and the viewer establish a kind of a symbiotic link. Not once has it been stated that the viewer gets a feeling of “being present” at the moment of creation of this or that piece, either in the artist’s studio or on the balcony of her apartment, and joins the artist in her search for the depicted object. The brushwork is so vivid and tangible that a viewer is able to follow the way the painting is being made… As a result we see the artist fixing every trace of the peeled-off plaster of the facades of the old two- or three-storied buildings in the very centre of Moscow, the rhythm of the roofs, and a very close horizon with the newly rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. This view was dear to the generation of the beginning of the 20th century – to those who knew the famous Cathedral before its barbarous demolition and for whom it was a source of inspiration, particularly for the great men of Russian literature, among them the Muscovite Pasternak.
For many an artist a studio window gains some special, almost existential meaning, becoming – literally – a window to the microcosm, synonymous with the rectangle of the canvas or a sheet of paper, cutting off the painting itself from the non-painting of the frame or a window frame. All this – quite naturally – refers to the realistic tradition in which a painter does not construct reality according to his or her taste, driven by unreal, hyper-real, or super-real inner impulses; instead a realist is spotting reality so that what is depicted or portrayed depends on the visual impressions – according to Pasternak “a painting flashes on the glass” [of the window].Take, for example, Korshunova’s series “Window to Italy” which brings together four square canvases – “Window to Rome”, “Window to Naples” “Window to Venice” and “Window to Tuscany” depicting the views from hotel windows; the moment the painting is ready, the existential meaning is lost.
Thus all the four “Italian windows” are highly emotional, loud, bright and over-filled with “speaking” details – those attributes of art that are in some way associated with the place depicted, stirring up the “spiritus loci”. In her “Window to Venice” one does expect and see a Venetian mirror in a golden frame, Venetian glass made on the island of Murano, and fine Venetian laces. The scene is blurring with the red of the sunset, with the glimpses of flashing purple on the waters of the canal and the reflections of the sunrays on the dome of the Santa Maria della Salute church. The “Window to Rome” – yet more quiet in colour – is wide open and through it one can recognize the marble Arch of Titus, the Trojan Column and ruins of the Roman Coliseum. The “Window to Naples” gives no distant view from it. On the contrary, one can see only a façade of the house just opposite the hotel and a monument, and both arouse no direct associations with the city… A kind of microcosm with nothing purely Neopolitan – no recognizable view of the laguna, or a male figure of the tenor singing “O Sole Mia”… But the open book with the frescoes in the villa of Mysteries from Pompeii, a bunch of flowers and a half-full glass of wine tell a lot about joyful “dolce far niente” in the picturesque city. And last but not least, the “Window to Tuscany” with a replica from the great Tuscan Giotto’s “Ognissanti Madonna”, and opening to the green valleys of Tuscany and making in itself a beautiful landscape. For Korshunova the rich Tuscan nature is synonymous with the rich spiritual life of this part of Italy so famous for its’ giving birth to creative people, many of whom are called the Titans of the Renaissance and belong to the history of art of the whole mankind.
The “Window to Tuscany”, not a cityscape, evidences instead the artist’s mastery in depicting landscapes. Vera Korshunova often finds herself in the countryside, in the “plein air”, each time captured by the beauty of Nature. Such a highly emotional perception of Nature, and a certain exalted state of heart and mind, is common for the majority of landscape painters. And only if the “existential window” of the artist’s soul is wide open does the painting hit the soul of the viewer. Fortunately, Korshunova’s soul feels all the nuances of Nature – the artist catches those subjects that are really touching in their modest quiet charm.
Korshunova is devoted to a purely Russian nature in the environments of Moscow where every painter can find his or her spiritually close corner of the world. Captured by the special charm of each season she paints “Summer Evening” and “Autumn Study”, “Dacha” and “Winter in the Countryside”. Some of Korshunova’s “plein air” paintings (“On the River”, “Sunlit Flower-bed”, or “In the Garden. Blue Bench”) are really impressionistic with a fine colour scheme and vivid brushstrokes. These canvases are so absolutely natural that sometimes it seems Nature itself has secretly brought them to the artist’s eyes.
Often Korshunova’s landscapes are composed with a sense of the foreground only – a means no doubt that emphasizes their decorative component (“Eastern Poppies”, “Willow-herb” or “Sunlit Flower-bed”). A certain impact of the moderne style that is characterized by the application of the natural flower motifs to create subtle elegancy of the artwork is vivid in Korshunova’s paintings such as “Poppies”, “Lupins” or “Orchids”. An adept of the traditional Russian school of landscape painting, Korshunova like her predecessors and mentors Leonard (Leonid) Turzhansky, Sergei Gerasimov, Valentin Sidorov and Mikhail Abakumov, does not paint a landscape “in general”, just a landscape. Instead she makes an attempt to extract the most essential, most emotional and most aesthetic from what she observes – in other words, to catch a single scene in a picture, derived from the rich palette of her visual impressions. Born artist that she is, Korshunova visualizes the colour with all its hues, tones and overtones. The oils seem to become animated under the rhythmical work of her brush – as Vincent Van Gogh once put it, “the strokes come like speech.”
As already mentioned, the still-life is another field of stylistic experimentation in Vera Korshunova’s artistic quest. Her flowers having left their natural place of existence, namely fields, flower-beds and forest meadows, become the subjects of her still-lifes. The artist tries to depict every petal, every leaf in her realistic pursuit allowing only some expressive freedom of the brushwork (“Sunflowers”, “Golden Bouquet” or “Feast of the Autumn”). Sometimes Korshunova makes some high-coloured stylistic escapades a la “Knave of Diamonds” or fauvist precedents (“Christmas Still-life”). The artist’s “test of the brush” goes far beyond stylistic exercises in the spirit of the great masters of the 20th century who trained art critics and the public to appreciate open clear colour spots on the canvas.
Korshunova’s 2006 series “Homage to White” reveals dramatic changes in her perception of and attitude to colour and its role in the “floral” subjects. To be exact it was her “Bouquet in Pearl” and the pictorial theme of the “still-lifes with orchids” that provoked the artist to make a decisive change in her colour palette and create a new series in which the bright and multicolour reality of wild field flowers, cultivated poppies, tiger lilies or sunflowers was substituted with a variety of white flowers.
White lilies, chrysanthems, roses, amaryllises and calla lilies become the subjects of her monochrome still-lifes alongside exotic orchids and even more exotic white parrots.
Such a choice gives the artist an opportunity to make a very delicate grading of the major white tints (celadon, pearl, light purple) to bring in a hint of the art deco style and improve her refined pictorial manner. These works are a kind of poetic elegy on the theme of the natural and exquisite beauty of Flora. The art deco trend is confirmed by certain “aristocratic” objects included in the compositions: a bunch of fine white roses is set next to the traditional and so typical of classic painting “nautilus” and silver tableware (“Roses and Antique Silver”); thin elegant white lilies bring in an inflection of symbolism a fleur of the “Silver age” belle epoch. (“Anew”), while a table beautifully laid for two tells of a chic romantic rendevous with oysters and white wine (“Supper”)…
The artist Vera Korshuvona demonstrates such creative potential and has inherited a very special vision of the world around her, so that her – literally – “creative ardor” will no doubt initiate her quest for new original subjects and new colouristic, stylistic and even technical decisions in her works ahead.